VIETNAM TRAVEL

 

South Central Coast

Quang Ngai - Around Quang Ngai - Sa Huynh - Quy Nhon - Around Quy Nhon - Song Cau - Tuy Hoa - Beaches North Of Nha Trang - Nha Trang - Around Nha Trang - Phan Rang Thap Cham - Ninh Chu Beach - Ca Na - Vinh Hao - Mui Ne Beach - Phan Thiet - Ta Cu Mountain

QUANG NGAI

IDD Code: (+84) 55
The capital of the province of the same name, Quang Ngai (aka Quang Nhia or Quangai) was only officially awarded city status in 2005, so the impression of a big country town is justified. The city itself offers no obvious attractions and those few travellers that venture here generally come to pay their respects to the victims of the most famous atrocity of the American War. Perhaps it's the sombre mood induced by the Memorial that has caused tourists to overlook one of Vietnam's best and least developed beaches, less than 2 kilometres away. Even before WWII, Quang Ngai was an important centre of resistance to the French. During the Franco Viet Minh War, the area was a Viet Minh stronghold. In 1962 the South Vietnamese government introduced its ill-fated Strategic Hamlets Program. Villagers were forcibly removed from their homes and resettled in fortified hamlets, infuriating and alienating the local population and increasing popular support for the Viet Cong. Some of the bitterest fighting of the American War took place here.
Orientation
Built on the southern bank of the Tra Khuc River, the city is 15km from the coast. Hwy 1A doubles as the main street Đ Quang Trung as it passes through town. The train station is 1.5km west of the town centre on Đ Hung Vuong.
Information
Deluxe Taxis ( Tell: 83 83 83)
Main post office (Tell: 822 935; 80 Đ Phan Dinh Phung)
Quynh Nhu Internet (Tell:828 851; 65 Đ Tran Hung Đao; per hr 4000d) Vietcombank (45 DHung Vuong) Branch in the lobby of Hung Vuong Hotel with an ATM outside,
Sleeping
Hung Vuong Hotel (Tell:818 828; 33 Đ Hung Vuong;r 120,000-200,000d;The friendliness of this family-run minihotel more than makes up for a lack of English. The most expensive rooms can sleep five at a push.
Hung Vuong Hotel ( 45 Đ Hung Vuong; s/d/tr/ste US$25/30/35/45 Even by Vietnamese standards this is confusing - two hotels with the same name 01 the same street. This one's a large multistorey block with spacious rooms, although it's not about to win any prizes for interior design.
Petro Song Tra Hotel ( 2 Đ QuangTrung;s $25-30, d US$30-3S, ste US$55; This Soviet-looking place has just been given a make-over. It's still not flash, but it's good value for the price, with ADSL in the rooms, a gym, a beautiful pool, tennis courts and a great location, right by the river and park.
CentralHotel ( 7840 Quang Trung; rUS$35-95, ste US$149; It's now looking a little past its prime, but the Central Hotel is still the nicest place in town and probably the cleanest. The cheaper rooms have basic showers, while the suites sport over-sized baths and huge TVs. Extra luxuries include free wi-fi, a tennis court and a pool big enough to swim laps in. There are several other minihotels on the east side of Đ Quang Trung between Đ Nguyen Nghiem and Đ Tran Hung ĐAO.
Eating
Quang Ngai province is famous for corn ga, although it actually originates further north at Tarn Ky. It consists of boiled chicken over yellow rice ( the colour comes from being steamed with chicken broth) with mint, egg soup and pickled vegies. You'll find corn ga restaurants all over town. Locals tend to eat it with a spoon, so don't bother struggling with the chopsticks.
An Lac (Tell: 822 566; 54 Đ Tran Hung Dao; meals 7000d). For good, cheap vegetarian grub, try this shopfront across from the pink church.
Nhung 1 (Tell:821 797; 474 Đ Quang Trung; meals 10,000(d).This friendly eatery is a great place to try corn ga.
Mimosa (Tell:822 438; 21 Đ HungVuong; mains 15,000d) With menus in English and some Western breakfast options, this family-run restaurant bustles with affable service.
Getting There & Away
BUS
The Quang Ngai bus station (Ben Xe Khach Quang Ngai; Đ Le Thanh Ton) is situated to the south of the centre, 50m east of Đ Quang Trung. Regular ruses head to all the major stops on Hwy 1A, including Sa Huynh (20,000d, 11/2 hours) and Quy Nhon (60,000d, 31/2 hours). If you're on an open-tour you should be able to leave the bus as it passes through town, but a pick up from here is difficult to arrange.
CAR & MOTORBIKE
Prom Quang Ngai road distances are: 889 km to Hanoi, 100 km to hoi An, 174 km to Quy Nhon, 412 km to Nha Trang and 860 km to HCMC.
TRAIN
Reunification Express trains stop at Quang Ngai Train Station (Ga Quang Nghia; ĐT- 820 280; 204 Đ Nguyen Chi Thanh), 1.5 km west of the town centre Destinations include Hanoi (350,000d, 191/2 to 231/2 hours, four daily). Danang (47,000d, 21/2 to four hours, six daily), Quy Nhon (40,000d, 51/2hours, one local train daily), Nha Trang (146,000d, six to 81/2 hours, six daily) and HCMC (300,000d, 131/2 to 20 hours, six daily).